Top 10 Stumbling Blocks that Limit Business Growth
Never in history have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses! In America, thousands of business open their doors every single day! Unfortunately, most of them (over 90% of them) also close their doors within two years. Businesses are started with high hopes and glorious dreams. It is easy to start a business. It is much more difficult to build it, to make it succeed, to avoid the traps and pitfalls and frustrations, and enjoy the fruits of success over the years. In working with hundreds (probably two to three THOUSAND) entrepreneurs over 25 years, here are the mistakes I see most often. Avoid them!
1. Fear and Confusion. There is either a sense of being over-whelmed by the size of the tasks, or a refusal to master the work of being an entrepreneur and business owner. There are specific skills to owning and running a successful business. Learn them! You can master this! You can focus and succeed! (This is often the time to hire a coach!)
2. Lack of Capital. Capital comes in three forms: Time, money, and energy. Some people have one or two, but not all three, and they fail because they simply can not sustain the growth phase of their business. EVERY business is a commitment of everything you have. You may start "small", but that does not mean casual or part-time!
3. Lack of Courage or Commitment. Building a business is always risky. Some people perceive the risk as frightening, others see it as an exciting challenge, but there is always risk. Manage it. Limit your potential losses. Understand the risks and enjoy the process. You will make mistakes. Learn from them and go on.
4. Refusal to select and target an audience. No one can sell their services to "everyone" - a message that goes to everyone is unlikely to create a sense of urgency in anyone in particular. Attorneys focus on one type of law. Physicians specialize. So should you.
5. Choosing the wrong audience. A market that can not or will not pay or an audience that is too small or dispersed is a recipe for disaster. The "poor" desperately need medical, dental, legal and other services, but who is going to pay you? The same problem exists when trying to reach an audience that is dispersed over a large geographic area and not easily identified.
6. Fuzzy or unfocused message. What exact benefits do you provide? To whom? Under what circumstances and at what cost? How can people contact you? Be precise, be clear, be specific.
7. Lack of planning - too many random efforts. Many entrepreneurs try a little radio, a direct mailing, join a service organization, offer free samples, and then report that they have "tried everything and nothing worked". Pick one, and stay the course! You become identified with your marketing techniques. Choose a logo, a color-scheme, and a marketing technique and stay with it!
8. Too much advertising, too little relationship building. Advertising works best for tangible products because customers can see the results. Intangible services are very difficult to advertise and are almost always purchased based on the quality of the relationship. The more people know you, and the more they know about you and your caring, your professionalism and your quality, the more business you will do. Build networks of relationships!
9. Laziness and/or Greed. Your business ONLY exists to serve the customer! You must make a profit in order to continue serving the customer, but service is the key to success. Everything must be focused on that. The statement, "I want to be my own boss", or "I want a business that supports me" may be true (and be totally honest and reasonable), but they are a dangerous focus for your business. Customers first!
10. Having a product or service that fails to produce adequate benefits, or fails to serve as promised. Some professionals are incompetent. Some don't use current technology, or are sloppy in their delivery. Particularly with services, even ONE mistake will undermine client confidence, loyalty, and trust. Do your best - every time!
The pace of ice loss has increased four-fold since 2003 as enormous glaciers are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts, causing sea levels to rise
Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing four-fold since 2003, new research has found.
Enormous glaciers in Greenland are depositing ever larger chunks of ice into the Atlantic ocean, where it melts. But scientists have found that the largest ice loss in the decade from 2003 actually occurred in the southwest region of the island, which is largely glacier-free.
Crew members jump into the sea to escape the blaze, which erupted during a fuel transfer
Ten crew members have been found dead and 14 have been rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russiaâs transport ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.
The ministry said earlier on Monday that crew members were jumping into the sea to escape the blaze.
PM faces a looming revolt over a no-deal Brexit as Corbyn criticises her talks as âPR shamâ
Theresa May reiterated her opposition to a second Brexit referendum on Monday night, claiming it would threaten Britainâs âsocial cohesionâ and insisting the centrepiece of her strategy remained negotiating changes to the Irish backstop.
With just 67 days to go until Britain is due by law to leave the European Union, May exasperated MPs and business groups by offering scant evidence that she was willing to change course.
Kelleth Cuthbert became famous after popping up in the background of a series of celebrity portraits at the Golden Globes
The serial photobomber who stole the show and became a meme after this yearâs Golden Globes has made a new splash with a cameo on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Canadian model Kelleth Cuthbert became known as Fiji Water Girl after popping up in the background of a series of celebrity portraits taken during the 72nd Golden Globes awards in January. She was at the event as one of a number of promotional staff for the water company, a Globes sponsor, but went viral after Twitter users noticed her face and distinctive blue dress turning up in shot after shot.
Initial footage appeared to show students, some wearing pro-Trump Maga hats, from a Kentucky high school taunting Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder
Longer video footage of a confrontation between a Native American activist and Kentucky high school students at a protest has surfaced, providing fresh insight into the controversial encounter and offering a broader view of deepening divisions in America.
Police to investigate He Jiankui after last yearâs claim to have altered the DNA of twin girls
A second woman fell pregnant during the experiment to create the worldâs first genetically edited babies, Chinese authorities have confirmed, as the researcher behind the claim faces a police investigation.
Attackers detonated car bomb inside complex in Maidan Wardak province, say officials
The Taliban have launched a major attack on an Afghan military compound in central Maidan Wardak province, officials have said, with some putting the death toll at more than 100 people.
Mondayâs incident at a campus of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) is the latest in a series of deadly attacks in recent months by the Taliban, which has seized control of about half of Afghanistan.
Government says 27 national guardsmen have been arrested and accuses âshadowy interestsâ of launching insurrection
Venezuelaâs government has claimed to have foiled what appeared to be an attempted military insurrection, blaming the mutiny on âshadowy interests of the extreme rightâ.
In a statement, Venezuela accused a small group of âassailantsâ from the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) of âbetraying their oath of loyalty to the homelandâ by kidnapping four officials in an attempt to steal weapons that began at about 2.50am local time (0650 GMT) on Monday.
Open letter says the arrests mean diplomats are more cautious about work in China
More than 140 former diplomats and leading China experts have called on Xi Jinping to release two Canadian citizens detained last month as a diplomatic stand-off between Ottawa and Beijing escalates.
In an open letter to the Chinese president, former envoys to China from Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Mexico described how the arrests of Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, have sent a chill through the diplomatic community.
Avon responded to actorâs criticism: âWe realize that we missed the mark with this messaging. We have removed this messagingâ
Cosmetics giant Avon USA has apologized for an anti-cellulite product after the ad campaign was accused of âshaming womenâ.
Actor Jameela Jamil had criticized the ad, which features a seated woman in shorts and tank top with the caption âdimples are cute on your face (not on your thighs),â on Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
Archaeologists were studying site until former farm owner came forward
A stone circle thought to be thousands of years old has turned out to be a lot more modern after a former farm owner admitted building it in the 1990s.
The ârecumbent stone circleâ in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, was reported by the siteâs current farm and was considered unusual for its small diameter and relatively small stones.
Decree states Cairo structures require âdusty coloursâ while blue is to be used on the coast
Egyptian authorities are reaching for their paint brushes following a decree by the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, demanding buildings across the country adhere to a unified colour scheme of âdustyâ shades in Cairo and blue on the coast.
Egyptâs prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, told a cabinet meeting: âThe plan is to have unified colours for the buildings instead of this uncivilised scene.â He said a presidential decree targeting unpainted red-brick buildings demands local authorities paint them soon, or face punishment.
The next 15 megacities #7: More than a third of the Vietnamese cityâs historic buildings have been destroyed over the past 20 years. Can it learn from mistakes made by other fast-growing Asian cities before it is too late?
âPeople donât realise what theyâve lost,â says Candy Nguyen as she peers through the locked gates of what was until recently the historic Ba Son shipyard. âMany donât even know what was here before.â
Ho Chi Minh Cityâs oldest and most important maritime heritage site is hidden from the street by high blue hoardings peppered with slogans such as âNever stillâ and âRedefine the skylinesâ.
After Norwayâs Storelgen stole Mac the Mooseâs place as worldâs tallest, a Canadian city hopes to âstick it to Osloâ by increasing their statueâs size
For three decades, the Canadian city of Moose Jaw took pride in its status as the home of the worldâs largest moose statue.
Standing at a majestic 10 meters tall, Mac the Moose has weathered brutal winters, graffiti and even the inglorious loss of his jaw. His recognition was so great that in 2013, he was named the cityâs most popular celebrity.
Central American migrants escaping poverty and violence in their hometowns find crossing legally is a slow and difficult process
At the age of 14, Jonathan Levit was given an order by the infamously brutal Mara Salvatrucha gang in his native Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras: to kill a friend he had known throughout childhood â âlike a brother, all my lifeâ.
Jonathan had, like almost every child in the city of Telaâs terrifying barrio of Colonia 15 de Septiembre, grown up in the gangâs shadow; there was no avoiding it, especially if you were partial to a smoke, as he was. And now the time had come for him to execute âa missionâ for what is also called MS-13 â the gang which, Jonathan says, âdoesnât just run Colonia 15, they almost run Hondurasâ.
Turkish president tells Donald Trump he is ready to send troops into US-overseen areas
The threat of a growing security vacuum in Syria as a result of Donald Trumpâs decision to withdraw US troops has been underlined by an attack on a joint US-Kurdish patrol, which reportedly killed five people and injured at least two American soldiers.
The attack on Monday, in which a suicide bomber drove a car into a checkpoint, emphasised the vulnerability of American troops since the US president declared he was withdrawing 2,000 soldiers from northern Syria on the grounds that Islamic State has been defeated.
Companyâs acting CEO says staff are âheartbrokenâ following loss of founder, which comes months after he was removed from his role
Brandon Truaxe, the founder and former CEO of cosmetic skincare company Deciem, which is behind the cult brand The Ordinary, has died at 40.
The cause of death has not yet been released. Truaxe was best known for setting up Canada-based skincare brand The Ordinary, which sells âluxuryâ products at affordable prices and has been endorsed by celebrities including Kim Kardashian West.
Eyebrows raised in New Zealand after Victoria Derbyshire questions the prime ministerâs feminist credentials
A BBC interview with Jacinda Ardern is raising eyebrows after the New Zealand prime minister was asked whether she has any plans to propose marriage to her partner Clarke Gayford and was questioned over her feminist credentials.
Ardern met with UK prime minister Theresa May early this week and is now making her way to Switzerland to attend the world economic forum in Davos.
Indigenous leader and former Labor boss to be parachuted in as a Liberal in the NSW electorate held by retiring MP Ann Sudmalis
Indigenous leader Warren Mundine will reportedly be parachuted in to contest the marginal seat of Gilmore under a Scott Morrison-endorsed plan being considered by the New South Wales Liberal party executive.
The move would complete a lifelong political journey by Mundine from the Labor party, of which he was national president in 2006, to the conservative side of politics, via a stint as the chairman of Tony Abbottâs Indigenous Advisory Council. Mundine has only just applied for Liberal party membership.
Teen pregnancies are soaring and HIV care has stalled in rural communities hit by âglobal gagâ funding cuts
It is under-fives week at Zambiaâs Nyangwena health centre and, outside in the morning sunshine, women are taking turns to weigh their babies. A noisy toddler wriggles as his mum places him into the harness of a set of scales. Measurements are taken and, afterwards, ice lollies handed out to children.
Reaching families in the surrounding rural communities is a major challenge for staff at the centre, and, after outreach services were stripped back, things are getting worse.
Human Rights Watch accuses EU institutions of sustaining network of âinhuman and degradingâ migrant detention centres
The EUâs support for Libyaâs anti-migrant policies is contributing to a cycle of âextreme abuseâ, including arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence, extortion and forced labour.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, who interviewed 66 migrants and asylum seekers in Libya last year, EU institutions and member states are continuing to sustain a network of detention centres characterised by âinhuman and degradingâ conditions where the risk of abuse is rife.
Salma has never even heard of the Spice Girls. Her life, hunched over a sewing machine for up to 16 hours a day, is a world away from the luxuries enjoyed by the millionaire pop band.
But while neither knows it, Salma and the Spice Girls are connected. The factory where she has worked for more than five years, off a narrow, winding road three hoursâ drive from Dhaka, is where charity T-shirts designed by the group were made.
Spice Girls T-shirts sold to raise money for Comic Reliefâs âgender justiceâ campaign were made at a factory in Bangladesh where women earn the equivalent of 35p an hour during shifts in which they claim to be verbally abused and harassed, a Guardian investigation has found.
The charity tops, bearing the message â#IWannaBeASpiceGirlâ, were produced by mostly female machinists who said they were forced to work up to 16 hours a day and called âdaughters of prostitutesâ by managers for not hitting targets.
Campaign group urges recognition for women affected by sexual violence of Korean troops and the children born as a result
Tran Thi Ngai was 24 and alone at home in her village in Vietnamâs Phu Yen province when a South Korean soldier forced his way into the house and raped her.
âHe pulled me inside the room, closed the door and raped me repeatedly. He had a gun on his body and I was terrified,â said Tran, now almost 80, and still waiting for South Korea to acknowledge sexual violence by its soldiers during the Vietnam war.
With thousands of FBI and TSA staff furloughed and critical functions hit, the shutdown is a disaster for national security
President Trump closed the US government over a fabricated border crisis, and in doing so has sparked a real national security emergency. By shutting down the government, Trump has disabled Americaâs defenses against threats to national security.
Trump decided to shut down the government over the claim that America needs a wall to deal with a crisis at the border with Mexico. But there is no crisis on the border other than the humanitarian crisis of his own making, best illustrated by the thousands of children separated from their parents and the two children who died in Customs and Border Protection custody. Trumpâs claims of more terrorists and crime flowing across the border are lies and the vast majority of hard drugs coming across the border come through official ports of entry, not between ports of entry where a wall might stand.
For all its rhetoric, the US under Donald Trump is on a clear path of disengagement in international matters
Americaâs ambivalence about engagement with the world beyond its shores is nothing new. Isolationist instincts are deeply rooted in the national psyche. Large constituencies opposed US involvement in both world wars. Donald Trumpâs âAmerica Firstâ campaign was the most recent manifestation of a longstanding desire to avoid the âforeign entanglementsâ that the first US president, George Washington, warned against in his 1796 farewell address.
Yet, as US power expanded, this yearning for separateness grew increasingly at odds with another national urge â to demonstrate Americaâs pre-eminence, and propagate its values and interests, through global leadership. This process climaxed in the early 1990s when Americaâs main rival, the Soviet Union, imploded and the US claimed the mantle of sole superpower.
The news that Karen Pence is returning to work at an anti-gay Christian school should remind us of the vice-presidentâs dangerous bigotry
Karen Pence is not just the wife of the US vice-president, sheâs an empowered career woman in her own right. While her husband works tirelessly alongside Trump to make America white again, Karen Pence, it was announced this week, is returning to her old job teaching kids art.
Loss of autonomy is a painful reality of old age â but itâs hard to let go when, like Prince Philip, you are used to being in charge
In the wake of his car crash on Thursday afternoon, in which the Duke of Edinburgh rather miraculously walked away unhurt, there has been much speculation over the manâs great age, and whether, at 97, he is now simply too old to operate so independently. Loss of autonomy becomes inevitable when you reach such a ripe vintage, but it is never easy to hand over â in both a metaphorical and literal sense â the keys you have held for so long in your grip.
My grandfather lived until he was 94. Neither he nor his wife, my grandmother (still alive at 99), looked, or acted, their age. The necessity to give up certain activities only ever came at them rudely, and they could never be told they were too old for anything; they had to learn it for themselves, the hard way.
The Democratic senator has officially launched her 2020 campaign, entering a crowded field of candidates vying to take on Donald Trump. Harris portrays herself as a fighter for justice and equality. She was the first woman of colour to become attorney general for California
In the two years since he took office, the US president has repeatedly deployed a number of tactics to try to get what he wants. We highlight five of Trump's most commonly used methods to make them easier to spot during the rest of his term
An Israeli interception of a Syrian missile was caught on a snowboarder's camera from the snowy slopes of Mount Hermon on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israel's military said its Iron Dome interceptor system shot down a rocket fired at the northern part of the occupied Golan Heights on the Syria frontier on Sunday.
A group of Kentucky students in Washington DC for an anti-abortion rally have been filmed harassing a Native American who was singing and drumming. The group were filmed surrounding Nathan Phillips, and one teenager wearing a Maga hat can be seen standing in front of Phillips and staring into his face while smiling
Two people have died and a dozen more injured in a fire at the French ski resort of Courchevel, according to officials. A witness who was staying at a hotel opposite the burning building captured this footage of the pre-dawn fire
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